Oct. 31 (UPI) -- Fresh off its labor walkout with General Motors, the United Auto Workers union has reached a tentative agreement with Ford on a new four-year contract.
The union confirmed this week it had started to focus on a new Ford deal. Wednesday, UAW negotiators recommended members to accept the proposed agreement with the second-largest U.S. automaker.
Ford, which employs 55,000 UAW workers, is the largest employer of hourly wage earners in the U.S. automotive industry. The deal with GM was expected to serve as a blueprint for UAW's talks with Ford.
"Our national negotiators elected by their local unions have voted to recommend to the UAW-Ford National Council the proposed tentative agreement," said UAW Vice President Rory Gamble. "Our negotiating team worked diligently during the General Motors strike to maintain productive negotiations with Ford.
"The pattern bargaining strategy has been a very effective approach for UAW and its members to secure economic gains around salary, benefits and secured over $6 billion in major product investments in American facilities, creating and retaining over 8,500 jobs for our communities."
Agreement on a new deal took three days. UAW's strike with GM lasted for 41.
Gamble said details of the tentative agreement will be kept secret until union leaders meet in Michigan Friday to review the terms.
If the proposal is approved by leaders, UAW members would then vote whether to accept it.